Lightened Up Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lightened Up Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Thanksgiving is merely one week away!  Let the countdown begin!

In my family, I host Thanksgiving dinner each year.  My mom is in charge of the turkey.  I am responsible for the remainder of the sides.   My mom makes an awesome turkey that I really enjoy.  But I will be honest, I get most excited for the sides.  All the beautiful plentiful side dishes! 

I posed the question on my FB page yesterday, "what are your favorite sides to enjoy at Thanksgiving?"  I got a lot of responses!  I think green bean casserole and stuffing made the top of the list for most who answered.

This easy and delicious Lightened Up Cheesy Scalloped Potato dish would be a winning addition to any holiday table.

It starts with Yukon gold potatoes.  They are so buttery and flavorful on their own.  They have a bit less starch than their counterparts, the russets, but aren't quite as waxy as red potatoes...making them the perfect choice for this dish.  I chose to use whole milk in this recipe.  The whole milk adds just enough fat to keep the sauce creamy with a silky texture, but keeps the overall total fat content per serving respectable.   I will tell you, I also made this dish substituting a 1/2 cup of heavy cream for 1/2 cup whole milk called for in the recipe.  The dish was slightly more creamy and decadent...and increased the P+ value by one.  I furnished both nutritional stats if you choose to live on the wild side and go all out with the cream.  Both versions are delicious though, and really so easy.  To help keep things light,  I also used reduced fat cheddar cheese.

If you think making these potatoes is hard...think again.  Begin by scrubbing your potatoes well, but leave the skin on!  I am not a huge fan of peeling potatoes.  (I think it might have something to do with my childhood. I peeled pounds and pounds of potatoes for my mom as a kid!  lol)  Besides, I think the peels make the dish look that much more interesting.

Next you layer in the ingredients to make two layers...  (This is the first one)

and pour on half the milk mixture...and repeat one more time. 

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in 400 degree F oven for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake until golden on top for another 20 minutes or so.  Then let the whole thing sit for 15 minutes before serving. 

And voila!  Perfection! 

Lightened Up Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Servings - 8   Serving size - 1/8th of recipe (approx. 1/2 cup)   Points Plus per Serving - 4 Points+ 
(subbing 1/2 cup heavy cream for whole milk - 5 Points+)
Calories - 134.1,   Total Fat - 4.9g,   Carb. - 19.2g,   Protein - 6.2g,   Fiber - 1.8g
*Nutritional information for swapping out 1/2 cup heavy cream for whole milk - Calories - 176.3,   Total Fat - 9.9g,   Carb. - 19g,   Protein - 6.1g,   Fiber - 1.8g

1 1/2 lbs. yukon gold potatoes, well-scrubbed and sliced into 1/4" slices (keep in cold water until ready to use)
1 TBS softened unsalted butter, divided
salt and pepper
1/2 cup reduced fat cheddar (or rf cheese of your choice), divided
2 cups whole milk (3.25% fat)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBS all purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
dash of ground nutmeg

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Thoroughly spray a 2 quart glass casserole dish ( or an 8 x 8" glass baking dish) with cooking spray.  

2.  In med sauce pan, combine the milk, garlic, flour, salt and nutmeg.  Whisk until combined.  Over med heat, cook until thickened, whisking often to avoid the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot.  Once slightly thick and hot (about 5 minutes or so), take off heat.  

3.  Arrange 1/2 the potato slices in bottom of prepared casserole dish.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Dot with half the butter.  Sprinkle half the cheese on.  Pour half the of the milk mixture on top.  Repeat layer with remaining ingredients, except this time end with cheese instead of milk mixture.  

4.  Cover with foil and bake in oven for 30 minutes.  Remove foil, and bake for another 20 minutes until top is golden brown and potatoes are fork tender.  Remove from oven (it may look a little soupy on top...this will thicken as the casserole sits)  Let rest for 15 minutes before serving. 

The hardest thing about this dish is the baking time and the waiting time.  It comes together so easy and ends up looking pretty impressive!  I liked it both with the cream and without, but to be honest, there wasn't that big of a difference for me to add 5 more grams of fat and nearly 40 more calories per serving.  The whole milk works well and stands up to the heat of the oven without curdling, without sacrificing creaminess and taste. 

My husband requested that I make this dish next week.  I might do this instead of mashed potatoes!  I think it would be nice change up.  

I started my shopping yesterday for our Thanksgiving dinner.  I will definitely need to make another trip to the store next week, but was glad to get a good chunk of things bought and ready to go.  I have to admit, I forgot my list at home, so I was living on the wild side in the store...trying to remember all the things I needed.  I've been hosting Thanksgiving for many years though, so it wasn't all that hard.  I did forget a few things though. 

How about you?   Are you hosting Thanksgiving or going to someone's house and bringing a dish?  


  1. I have forgotten my grocery list more times than I care to remember. If you have a smart phone there are apps for grocery lists - you never get caught without your list again! These potatoes look so creamy and I know I would love them. It would be a nice change from mashed potatoes.

    I have my T Day staples in stock and ready to go so will just have to go to the store a couple days before the holiday to get the perishables.

    Its so nice that your mom makes the turkey and brings it. That is one less thing to worry about. My hubby cooks our turkey so I have it pretty easy as well.

    1. What is the best app for a grocery list, I am looking for a good one?

    2. what I should get in the habit of doing is taking a picture of my list with my phone. I still like going old school and physically writing out the

  2. I didn't see that on fb, I think my answer would be the dressing (with gravy of course!). Though, like you, I think I like all the sides the best. These potatoes sound great. I love that you lightened them up. I think I have everything to make these for dinner tonight...thank you!

  3. Oh Renee, my sentimental side is so sad right now, and the rest of me is just hungry. I will not get to make scalloped potatoes with my mother in law for Thanksgiving this year, as has become our tradition. I'm staying home to make a wedding cake for Saturday instead! So enjoy an extra portion of these delicious potatoes for me...and say a prayer I don't mess up this cake! lol! These look so very good, Renee, great idea to keep the milk full fat--it can be hard once everything is fat free to make it seem worth eating--haha! I too get more excited about sides, for me it's the stuffing that makes Thanksgiving. I just need a sliver of turkey as my side dish. :)


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